Learning with the University of Plymouth

A curriculum which is broad, balanced and relevant - to the needs and to the context of our school community...
Our curriculum at Holy Cross seeks to develop independent, creative thinkers who are both curious in their search for knowledge and understanding, and resilient in the face of challenge.
Inherent to our taught curriculum is the commitment to providing rich life experiences to develop and enhance the cultural capital of our pupils. 
An aspirational curriculum, accessible to every child has been shaped by our knowledge of both the children and the community in which they live, providing opportunities to counter relative disadvantage and different starting points and meeting the needs of all our learners.
Our curriculum seeks to combine transferable skills, develop a rich vocabulary and through strong cross-curricular links, deepen the learning of our pupils. 

To meet our curriculum aims, Holy Cross Primary has fostered a relationship with Plymouth University and their Architecture programme. Over the past two years, children from both EYFS and Key Stage 1 have spent time working in partnership with first year architecture students to develop and enhance both the Holy Cross pupils’ knowledge of Design Technology and the Plymouth University students' understanding of 'designing for the user'. 

Over the course of the two projects, children worked with the students to design mood boards, build structures and discuss their likes and dislikes relevant to the concepts being explored: comfort and play.

Students then used these ideas as a spring board to design structures which could be incorporated into spaces at Holy Cross. Once concepts had been explored and developed, the children and school staff were invited to view the models and art work of the students' designs. Children from our school played a vital role in deciding which projects were then brought in and installed into our school. 

This working relationship with the University has allowed children at Holy Cross to develop their  understanding of architecture and the importance of designing for users. The projects have inspired children to think about their future career choices and allowed them the opportunity to be creative and to build their DT skills in an environment outside of the classroom. The University students have benefitted from the opportunity to explore their creativity and playfulness with designing whilst reminding them that the needs of the consumer are vital when designing and building.